View Full Version : Heat Branding instead of engraving

Tim Baude
03-06-2011, 1:02 PM
I have a potential large job coming up....I am cutting shapes out and on half of them they need their logo. They want to keep in the $.50 range per engrave. Takes about 1 minute to engrave. I am wondering if I would be better to get a heat branding iron with their logo and brand the pieces needed while the next batch is cutting. Has anyone done this for large jobs. They want the logo dark and I figured this was quicker and would leave the wood darker. Thank you in advance for any advice.

Mike Null
03-06-2011, 4:30 PM
I would look at hot stamping as an option.

Bill Cunningham
03-06-2011, 8:03 PM
I do quite bit of logo engraving work for a company the uses salvaged wood in their projects. I mentioned logo branding irons to them, and they told me they have one but they prefer the laser engraving. I engrave a .75 x 2" logo on hundreds of pieces for them, for $1.40 ea. which is far less than I would charge for a similar order of fewer pieces. I do 20 at a time in the machine. You also have to consider the time it takes you to load and unload the laser, and pack these pieces up later.. Don't sell your self to cheap. The logo quality you can reproduce on your laser, is 'vastly' superior to the image from a branding iron, even a simple image.. I wouldn't even put it in the laser for .50 cents, unless it was a 6 point single line 1/2" long, and I was doing hundreds at one push of the button (I have a customer & job like this)

Gary Hair
03-06-2011, 10:51 PM
They want to keep in the $.50 range per engrave

I would like gasoline to be in the $1.00/gallon range yet they don't change their price when I go to the gas station - why should you change your pricing to meet their expectations?

Sometimes customer expectations are a bit off and you need to educate them. For 1 minute of engraving I start at $2.00, for a large job I could go as low as $1.00/$1.50. You must add in the unpackaging, prep, lasering, cleanup and packaging time as well, it's not just about the laser time.


Mike Null
03-07-2011, 4:41 AM

I agree with your laser pricing but there are thousands of instances where a $.50 may be all the budget can handle--I had one just last week where such a price or less was required. The laser is not the answer but there are several other ways to deal with it. The customer is looking for solutions. The question is, do you want to provide them or let somebody else do it.

Tim Baude
03-07-2011, 6:39 AM
Thank you all.....I agree I shouldn't try to meet their prices, but I also do this as a side job. A few hours per week depending on the week. This would work into a constant job month after month. They provide all materials and I cut and engrave and keep the excess material. Time is not a huge issue if I can cut my cutting time down. I still have not mastered having my machine cut all at once a piece. I posted the file here a while ago and several people helped, but I still get the machine bouncing around to different spots. If I can cut that down, I will be fine. I am still working on that part. This would fill the weeks I don't have much work. An hour here and there throughout a month to pick up a few thousand dollars seems worth it in the long run. If they go to full production (they are going to product testing right now) I have thought about a second machine with more power and speed (maybe chinese for price purposes) to just do this job. The job would pay for the machine in a couple months, so might be worth it. Thank you again....this is the best forum I have ever come across. You guys are all great.

Scott Shepherd
03-07-2011, 8:24 AM
I don't know the size of it, but if it's relatively small, .50 cents might make you some good money. As Bill said, do a row of them. You might get 10 of them in a row, which won't take much more than the original minute. So that's $5 a minute, or $300 per hour.

.50 cents can sound cheap, but when done right, you can make some money.

Richard Rumancik
03-07-2011, 11:57 AM
Tim, branding will not look nearly as good as laser marking. But if they can accept the quality of branding, then I would still attempt to do it on the laser. Using a low resolution (say 200 dpi or less) and a large spot size would probably still look better than a brand. To achieve a large spot you can use a long FL or else go out-of-focus.